My Grandfather started riding the rails as a hobo at a very young age, back in the 20's, going as far south as Texas and as far west as Iowa from his home in Ohio. One day, his mother asked him to go out to the baker and bring back a loaf of bread. Six months later, he returned, with a loaf of bread under his arm. He’d been on the bum for all that time. He’d found work down in Texas, picking cotton and worked six days a week. Another time, he rode the rails as far west as Sioux City, Iowa with a pal of his. Between the two of them, they had just enough money to by two hotdogs and a bottle of soda pop and barely made it back to the train in time before it pulled out. He told me that he used to love riding on the coupling that connected two train cars together. He would straddle the coupling face down, with his arms and legs hanging down, watching the millions of railroad ties going by in a blur a few feet below, before he fell asleep. I’ve oftentimes wondered how easy it would have been for him to fall off the coupling and get ground up into hamburger meat, thus eliminating three generations worth of descendants, including myself, before they were ever born.
"Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"